Abstracts Concerning Canals

* 1822, Jan. 1 through July 31 *
Cleveland Herald

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About the organization of this material

Each abstract begins with a "reference line," such as: 16 - CGCR July 31:2/3,4.
This is the code which the Annals staff used to identify the following information:

16 -- the number assigned to this abstract
CGCR -- the newspaper it was taken from (here, the Register)
July 31 -- the month and day it appeared in the paper
2/3,4 -- page 2, columns 3 and 4

An ed placed between the date and the page/column information (i.e. July 31; ed:1,2) means that the abstract is from an editorial. If adv appears in that location, it indicates that the abstract is from an advertisement.

For more information, please see the Introductory Materials from the Annals, and select the desired year and publication from the menu.

[note: for the digital edition, "abstract" has been included at the beginning of each reference line, and the name of the newspaper has been spelled out in the first reference line of each page.]

The material which follows was scanned from the original printed Annals, proof-read and corrected to replicate the original as closely as possible.

* Digitized Material *

Abstract 28 - H[erald] Feb. 5; ed:3/1

The last mail brought us only one Columbus paper, and that of no later date than Jan.17 and containing no news of importance. We learn from other sources, however, that a bill has passed the house appointing seven commissioners, Alfred Kelley of Cuyahoga county among them, and authorizing them to proceed the ensuing season with an engineer to be employed by them, in an examination and survey of the different routes for a canal from Lake Erie to the Ohio river. The sum of $6,000 is appropriated by the bill to cover expense.

"It is probable it will pass the Senate."

Abstract 29 - H Mar. 5; ed: 3/2,3

The conduct of our legislature in providing an opportunity to examine the proposed canal plans and determine the practicability of the project, we are well assured is warmly seconded by the majority of our citizens.

"It would in our estimation be grossly misrepresenting their present sentiment as well as future determinations, if we doubted the adoption of consequent measures equally indicative of the public spirit of Ohio. There has not been the slightest dissatisfaction expressed to the late appropriation to defray the expense, if we except a small legislative minority, who, upon the vote for this preparatory step of selecting the route, were smitten with the weakness and incapacity of the Treasury to answer the demand. This preliminary measure, previous to an ultimate decision upon the subject, has, however, been loudly called for and was obviously necessary; and when we turn to the gentlemen to whom this undertaking is confided, the strongest assurances are afforded for the satisfactory accomplishment of the task. We sincerely hope the end will prove, that the estimate of the committee, although it has been questioned, as erroneously formed, may be found fully adequate to its final completion." (11)

Abstract 30 - H Mar. 19:3/2

Alfred Kelley, one of the canal commissioners, says: Individuals will confer a favor on the public by communicating to the subscriber or either of the canal commissioners, any information in their power relative to the situation and face of the country, as well as the position of the streams in the vicinity of the summit level, or dividing lands, between the waters of the Ohio and Lake Erie.

It is desirable that the information communicated should be correct and confined as much as possible to facts. (6)

Abstract 31 - H Apr. 2; ed:3/1,2

"The article in our first page, upon the Western Lakes, will be read with interest, as it evidently contains that kind of information which all are fond to accumulate. No subject opens a greater field of speculative contemplation than our country. The imagination becomes insensibly and delightfully laden with pleasure, when she goes out upon these excursions, and is never weary in demonstrating to the judgment the natural advantages and coming importance of the United States....

"We hope, therefore, our readers, in lending their attention to the excellent article we allude to, will for their own satisfaction extend their inquiries to the most authentic quarter possible - the face of the country itself. It has never been doubted, we believe, but that an attempt to unite these navigable waters might be successful at almost any point this side of Lake Superior. The grand efforts of human skill are not combined to surmount obstacles which nature often interposes to similar undertakings. Our speculations all turn upon the question of choice, and it is a matter of state and national importance that public opinion be grounded upon the best lights that can be afforded." (16)

Abstract 32 - H Apr. 9; ed:3/2

A bill has passed the Senate authorizing the cutting of a canal through the public lands in the state of Illinois to connect the river of that name with the waters of Lake Michigan.

"Who is to do it?" (1)

Abstract 33 - H Apr. 23; ed:3/1

James Geddes, Esq., of Onondaga county, New York, is expected at this place in a few days, having been employed as principal engineer by the acting governor, and having engaged for one year in surveying the respective canal routes through this state - receiving therefor $1500 and all expenses. "The ability and experience of Mr. Geddes, acquired since 1811, in an almost constant attention to works of the same nature in his own state, are a sufficient guarantee for that skill and promptitude with which we desire the undertaking to be prosecuted." (verbatim) (3)

Abstract 34 - H Apr. 30:3/1

Mr. Geddes, the engineer employed by Governor Trimble to survey the several proposed routes with a view to locate a canal through this state, arrived in Cleaveland Apr. 25 and is leaving here today to begin his survey. He intends to have everything before the commissioners when the legislature convenes in May. (3)

Abstract 35 - H May 14:3/1

Geddes, the engineer employed by the governor to make surveys between Lake Erie and the Ohio river, began operations on May 2 at Portage or Haines lake. He has now proceeded on eastward to examine the condition of the country, particularly the elevation between the Cuyahoga near Ravenna and the headwaters of Grand river and the Mahoning near Warren.

It is expected that he will proceed to Columbus to meet the canal commissioners on May 20, at the same time visiting the Killbuck and Black river section and the Sandusky and Sciota summits. (9)

Abstract 36 - H May 21; ed:3/11

"We may conclude with much certainty from facts already received that the project of a Canal on the courses of the Cuyahoga and Muskingum rivers is feasible beyond the most sanguine expectations entertained on this route. The Portage Lake, - covering about five hundred acres, is so situated as with no great labor to be made to discharge itself either way. To this lake the main branch of the Muskingum approaches within two miles, and may be conducted, with small expense, into it, and thence by its outlet into Lake Erie...

"The intelligence which a survey of the respective routes will afford, will generally be more interesting than has been imagined. It will be found that nature has done more, and art will have to do less, than people abroad have conjectured. The idea has prevailed that the face of the country prevented the possibility of finding elevated streams, in the interior of the state, capable of supplying a Canal. This supposition is entirely done away, as far as respects one of the contemplated channels. We are not prepared to say that the other routes are as free from obstacles. Reports of citizens residing in their neighborhood is generally very flattering. But in these, little confidence can be reposed, as it is only by skilful (sic) and accurate examinations that our opinions can be well founded." (11)

Abstract 37 - H May 28; ed:3/2

The canal commissioners and Engineer Geddes met at Columbus on May 20.

"In case the Ohio River and the Lake are connected as far east as to make the Cuyahoga a principal feeder, a lateral channel ought to be extended westerly to accommodate the people of the interior, and unite the interests of the State; and these are probably the views of the Commissioners." (5)

Abstract 38 - H June 13; ed:3/1

In March, 1792, Elkanah Watson sent a pamphlet to the New York state legislature setting forth by a train of reasoning and accompanying documents, the necessity of opening a canal between the Atlantic and the Great Lakes. Watson proposed that the canal should begin at Oswego on Lake Ontario and terminate at Albany. Jefferson of Virginia wanted Alexandria the future depot of western trade.

"Thus it appears were agitated and brought before the public, more than 35 years ago, plans of internal improvement which now justly command our admiration. It is but justice to the persons concerned to notice that foresight and knowledge of the interests of the nation manifested by them at so early and wilderness a period of our country. It was seen even then, that the commerce from Ontario to Superior must enrich and aggrandize some great emporium on the Atlantic whither it would be directed, and the promised advantages of this commerce were coveted." (15)

(From Annals of Cleveland - 1818-1935, Volume V (1822), pages 160 through 163. Cleveland: Cleveland WPA. 1937.)

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Cleveland's First Infrastructure: the Ohio & Erie Canal from George Washington to Alfred Kelley

Last updated June 16, 1999